Friday, June 3, 2011

Books on Writing

I don't know about you, but I have shelves of books on the craft of writing. Some are terrific, some not so much.

What's important to remember when you buy a book on the craft of writing, is that it won't do you any good if it just sits on your shelf looking good. I know this from personal experience.

So, as a kind of accountability, here are the craft books I'm reading bits from every morning (beginning this morning) while I sit outside in the Colorado sunshine:

The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell. As opposed to craft, this is more about the writing life, and how we can get through it. I'd begun reading it ages ago, but for some reason (probably the need to organize my desk), I shelved it.

The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass. I don't always agree with him, but I always learn from him. Again, I'd started reading this one a long time ago and had to pull it off the shelf this morning.

Write Away by Elizabeth George. This one has been untouched on my shelf, but not for very long. George is going to walk me through her process, and I have the feeling she'll hold my hand if I need it.

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. I confess that this book has been in my home longer than I can remember. Even before I seriously considered writing a novel. Unread. I think because I thought it might be a lot of psycho-babble. But, along with Write Away, it's probably the book I'm most excited to read now. She teaches us how to unblock our creativity. I'm willing to give that a shot.

What books on craft are you committed to reading right now?

CR: Passions of the Dead by L.J. Sellers.

It's all better with friends.


  1. I've yet to start it but I have 'Revising Fiction, making sense of the madness' by Kirt Hickman sitting on my desk.

  2. Jane Yolen's Take Joy is a book that I keep close at hand. Her collection of first lines includes one from Dickens: "Marley was dead, to begin with." Some day someone may top that.